On this first Sunday of the new year, along with the universal Church, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. For many Christians throughout the world, both Catholic and Orthodox, this is the day of gift giving and the crown of the holiday season.
The custom of this day, apart from a solemn celebration of the Eucharist, is to focus on activities that are at home! It was in a house, not the manger, that the Magi found Jesus with his family. That house became a home for all the human family as these “three kings” came from different parts of the world to bring gifts to the one who is the King of Kings! Thus, it seems so appropriate that the head of each household, or homestead, should bless our dwellings on this day:
During these days of the Christmas Season, we keep this Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the manifestation of Christ to the Magi, to John in the Jordan River, and to the disciples at the wedding in Cana. Today Christ is manifest to us! Today this home is a holy place!
Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill them (us) with the light of Christ, that their (our) concern for others may reflect your love. May they (we) be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and the keeping of your law. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The head of the household might also take chalk and inscribe over the front door of the house the cross and the year so that those who enter might know that this is a Christian home: 20 † 19
I would like to offer a word of thanks to the many who helped to make our Liturgies during this holy season especially beautiful this year … for all of our ministers, music makers, decorators, staff, and all who have helped us to fittingly celebrate the birth and manifestation of the Lord Jesus! What a great “dress rehearsal” for when he comes again in glory and majesty!
Thanks so much to the many for the kind and generous ways in which you have shown your appreciation to myself and to the other priest of the parish during the past few weeks, whether it was the baked goods, the kind notes in Christmas Cards, the special gifts which make our lives easier throughout the year. Know that it is most greatly appreciated. Many thanks to the Council of Catholic Women (CCW) for their kindness and generosity!
Just a reminder that our 40 Hours of Devotion is coming up on
January 17th-18th. The schedule can be found on page 5 of this bulletin.
May the week and year ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!